Singapore Premier League • April 30, 2014

Jaguars Aim To Clip Eagles’ Wings


Geylang International vs Tanjong Pagar United

(May 1, Thursday, 7.30pm, Bedok Stadium)

Written by: Phoon Jia Hui

If there is anything football has taught you, it is that things can change over a matter of games.

From cellar-dwellers to top-six contenders, Geylang have done just that since the arrival of coach Jorg Steinebrunner.

The Eagles welcome Tanjong Pagar United to the Bedok Stadium and they will look to keep their good run of form going under the German.

After their 1-1 draw with Woodlands Wellington last Saturday, Geylang are currently on a six-match unbeaten run and confidence in the camp is sky-high

Striker Leonel Felice has finally found his goalscoring touch and has five goals to his name so far, including the winner which handed his team a last-gasp 3-2 win over Hougang United early this month.

With his accurate deliveries from set-pieces, Mustaqim Manzur is also another man to look out for with the 32-year-old having already contributed two assists in his last two matches.

Tanjong Pagar on the other hand, are licking their wounds after an abysmal season so far where injuries have not helped their cause.

The likes of attacking midfielder Kamel Ramdani and Anthony Aymard remain sidelined and it has hit the Jaguars hard, particularly with the absence of Ramdani as the side looks bereft of creativity.

But there is no reason to discount Tanjong Pagar just yet. The offensive threat from this team is still genuine. Possessing Monsef Zerka, Firdaus Idros, and the box-to-box midfielder Sebastien Etiemble, the Jaguars do look a formidable side up front.

It was Etiemble’s goal which gave the Jaguars the lead against Tampines Rovers the last time out, only for Noh Alam Shah to cancel out his opener in a 1-1 draw.

That said, Geylang’s Kento Fukuda and his backline will need to be wary of their opponents and not allow their good form to cloud their judgement and allow complacency to creep in.

Despite the decent form Geylang has shown so far under Steinebrunner, this match should be pretty tight, and a draw might be the likelier outcome.

Key Men To Watch

Geylang International: Kento Fukuda

Along with compatriot Yuki Ichikawa, Kento Fukuda has kept things tight at the back with his excellent reading of the game and bravery in challenges.

Although he only won half of the challenges he went in for, he won a decent 63% of challenges in the air while having a 54% in his overall challenges according to InStat.

The Japanese defender has also done his bit further up the pitch, nodding home a Mustaqim Manzur freekick against Woodlands in their last match to open his account for the season.

Tanjong Pagar United: Sebastien Etiemble

Although his team was on the end of a heavy 4-0 defeat to Home two weeks ago, the hardworking midfielder was one who  impressed in that match.

According to InStat,  Etiemble had two shots on target out of three shots and he had a 60% success rate in his dribbles. In addition to that, 69% of his passes found its intended target and this could come in handy to unlock the Geylang defence.

The Frenchman then netted the opener in their 1-1 draw with Tampines Rovers in the following game when he tapped home from close range to cap off a swift counter-attack.

With three goals, he is currently the Jaguars’ joint-top scorer with Monsef Zerka.

Geylang International – DDWWD

26/4/14    Geylang International 1-1 Woodlands Wellington

17/4/14    Balestier Khalsa 1-1 Geylang International

11/4/14    Geylang International 3-2 Hougang United

3/4/14      Harimau Muda 0-3 Geylang International

28/3/14    Geylang International 1-1 Brunei DPMM

Tanjong Pagar United – DLDLW

25/4/14    Tanjong Pagar United 1-1 Tampines Rovers

17/4/14    Home United 4-0 Tanjong Pagar United

10/4/14    Tanjong Pagar United 1-1 Warriors FC

4/4/14      Albirex Niigata (S) 2-1 Tanjong Pagar United

26/3/14    Courts Young Lions 2-3 Tanjong Pagar United

21/3/14    Tanjong Pagar United 0-1 Woodlands Wellington

Head to Head (S.League)

28/8/13    Tanjong Pagar United 1-1 Geylang International

23/4/13    Geylang International 2-1 Tanjong Pagar United

19/4/13    Albirex Niigata (S) 1-2 Tampines Rovers

30/8/12    Geylang International 0-0 Tanjong Pagar United

29/3/11    Tanjong Pagar United 1-0 Geylang International

13/10/11  Geylang International 2-0 Tanjong Pagar United

1/7/11      Tanjong Pagar United 0-1 Geylang International

14/4/11    Geylang International 2-0 Tanjong Pagar United